A Question of Time: Sociotemporality in Academic Libraries

Lora L. Lennertz, Phillip J. Jones

Abstract

The clock and calendar regulate many library activities, but the seasonal and temporal dimensions of libraries are largely unexplored. Intrigued by observations of colleagues’ temporal attitudes and behavior, the authors drew on the work of sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel to investigate the perceptions of time, schedules, and urgency among professional library personnel. The data showed almost no statistically significant relationships between demographic categories and the employee’s approach to time; however, multiple significant relationships existed between the latter and the employee’s department. These findings can help academic librarians understand—and bridge—differences among themselves to build more vigorous organizations.

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